The Grand Salon of the iconic La Mamounia hotel in Marrakech was the stage for the official draw ceremony for the FIFA Club World Cup Morocco 2013 on Wednesday, held in the presence of Mohammed Ouzzine, Moroccan Minister of Youth and Sport, Mohamed Raouraoua, Chairman of the FIFA Organising Committee for the Club World Cup, and President of the Local Organising Committee, Ali Fassi Fihri.
The ceremony was hosted by Hicham El Amrani, Secretary General of the African Football Confederation (CAF) and Baddou Zaki, former stalwart of the Morocco national side and winner of the African Footballer of the Year award in 1986.
One of the many highlights of an entertaining evening was an artistic performance – showcasing the supporters, colours and emblems of participating teams – which immersed the 150 guests and the tens of thousands of viewers watching live on television in a stadium-like atmosphere. It was an ideal opportunity for the LOC to demonstrate its expertise in terms of organising high-profile football-related events.
“We’re very happy to be in Morocco for the tenth edition of the FIFA Club World Cup, which is being held on African soil for the very first time,” Raouraoua said, who was keen to stress the excellent mood surrounding preparations for the tournament.
“Today is also the first time that delegations from competing teams have come to Morocco, an experience they appear to be enjoying. We’re convinced that the Moroccans will prove to be marvellous hosts,” he added.
Raouraoua confirmed that referees will have new technology at their disposal. “Goal-line technology will indeed be used during the FIFA Club World Cup Morocco 2013,” he said.
“This will therefore be the third time it has been used, after the Club World Cup in Japan last year and the FIFA Confederations Cup Brazil 2013. It’s a first for Africa, though, and that makes this competition a historic event.”
Following the draw, the below match schedule was established:
Preliminary match (Match 1)
Raja Casablanca (MAR) v. Auckland City (NZL)
Match 3: Winner of Match 1 v. Monterrey
Match 2: Winner of AFC Champions League v. Winner of CAF Champions League
Winner of Match 2 v. Bayern Munich
Winner of Match 3 v. Atletico Mineiro
Complete FIFA Club World Cup fixtures are available on FIFA.com.